White House Sanctions Attempt to Hit Cyber-Crime in the Pocketbook
NEWS ANALYSIS: Obama administration issues an Executive Order that allows the government to stop the flow of money and movement of people connected with cyber-crime.An Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama on April 1 is the latest in a series of moves by the U.S. government to help impede cyber-criminal activity aimed at the United States. The order gives the Treasury Department, working with the Attorney General and the State Department, the power to block the transfer of funds between entities inside and outside the U.S. that attack computers or networks to steal money, trade secrets, personal information or other data to the detriment of the government and its citizens. The order officially declares an emergency and includes other broad powers, such as the ability to block travel to the U.S. by people involved in such attacks. The order specifically includes the ability to block donations to groups that carry out such activities. The action is clearly aimed at providing greater consequences for people or organizations that break into U.S. computers in an attempt to profit from the activity. This would include groups that steal credit card numbers or other personal information in cyber-attacks, such as those launched again Home Depot or Target. The order also covers attempts to steal corporate information, such as the endless attacks by the Chinese army against U.S. defense contractors and it would even include Distributed Denial of Service attacks against Websites and networks in the U.S.